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13.05.2008 Health

'Newly Qualified Nurses Not Paid For A Year’

By Clement Atagra and Esther Yamoah - newtimesonline.
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The Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) has expressed surprise that none of the newly qualified nurses serving in various health facilities in the country has received his or her salaries for almost one year now.

The association said the unfortunate development was affecting the output of the new nurses as most of them work under very difficult conditions.

Alice Darkoa Asare-Allotey, president of the association, said this while speaking with the Times in Accra yesterday after a ceremony to mark this year's national Nurses Day.

The theme for the celebration which was also the international nurses day was: 'Delivering quality, serving communities: Nurses leading primary health care, it also commemorated the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the mother of nursing.

Mrs Asare-Allotey blamed the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment for not adequately planning ahead before the nurses commenced work.

She also complained that over 5,000 mostly junior nurses were unjustly treated during the recent salary structure which was to enhance their salaries.

Mrs Asare-Allotey said these category of nurses suffered cuts in their salaries and appealed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning which she said had been provide with a list of the affected nurses to act promptly on it.

Stating that 2005 salary structures were used to compute pensions for nurses and health workers who retired in 2006, she asked the Ministry of Health to intervene by getting the Ministry of Finance to direct the Controller and Accountant General to pay their pensions based on the salary on which they retired.

A Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gladys Ashitey, in a speech read on her behalf by Dr Appiah Denkyira, Director of Human Resource and Health Development of the Ministry, emphasised the need to ensure that the capacity and competence of nurses to access individual and community's total health needs and to promote healthy lifestyles are developed.

We need to see what happens in our communities, the way they live and the things that define their lifestyles. It would be very useful as this will influence our training curriculum to make it serve the needs of our rural communities, she stated.

She called on nurses to ensure that everyone irrespective of status is given quality health care.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Dr Ken Sagoe, said primary healthcare formed an integral part of any country's health system.

He was happy about the improvement of the country's health indices in the past thirty years saying the country made a remarkable improvement in health status to the extent of being declared polio-free measles also brought under control.

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